Covid Not Over, Warns Union Health Minister

| Updated: 13 June, 2022 6:41 pm IST
Union health minister Dr Mansukh Mandaviya also stressed on increasing timely testing for early identification of the cases

NEW DELHI: With reports of a surge in COVID cases, Union health minister Dr Mansukh Mandaviya on Monday said that the COVID is not over yet. The ministry has registered 8,084 new cases in the last 24 hours.

Speaking at a review meeting with the state health ministers on the present status and progress under ‘HarGharDastak 2.0’, Dr Mandaviya said, “COVID is not over yet. There are reports of rising cases of COVID in some states.”

“It is important at this time to be alert and not forget COVID appropriate behaviour such as wearing masks and maintaining physical distance to prevent the spread of the infection,” the Union minister said.

The minister also stressed on increasing timely testing for early identification of the cases. States and UTs need to continue and strengthen the surveillance and focus on genome sequencing for identifying new mutants or variants in the country, the union minister stated.

The recent trend shows an escalation in COVID cases in the last two weeks. On June 6, 3714 cases were reported whereas, on June 5, 4518 fresh COVID cases were registered. On June 10, 7584 fresh cases were reported whereas from June 11 onward more than 8000 fresh cases were registered. Since June 31, the COVID trend suggests a continuous rise in cases that varied between the 3000 to 4500 mark every day.

Dr Mandaviya urged states to focus coverage of 12-17 age groups through school-based campaigns (Government /Private/ informal schools like Madrasas, Day Care Schools), along with targeted coverage of non-school going children during the summer vacation.

“Let us accelerate our efforts to identify all beneficiaries in the 12-17 age group for the 1st and 2nd doses, so they can attend schools with the protection of the vaccine,” he said.

The Union minister also said that focus must include booster doses for the elderly population also.

While vaccine wastage is an area of concern, Dr Mandaviya advised state ministers that there should not be any wastage of COVID vaccines at any cost. “Active monitoring on the basis of the First Expiry First Out principle needs to be followed,” Dr Mandaviya said.

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